Are the rich intentionally trying to make the rest of us poor, thus preserving their own power? Anthony W. Orlando writes at Informed Comment:
We all know that inequality has been rising and the average American household has been suffering. There is a myth that says all this suffering is necessary, that extreme inequality is the by-product of a rapidly growing economy—or worse, that it’s a good thing because it motivates everyone to work hard and climb the long ladder to the One Percent.
Even a brief glance at the historical record reveals just how perverted this hypothesis is.
For one thing, the economy has not been growing rapidly since inequality started climbing. From 1950 to 1980, “real gross domestic product (GDP)”—the output of the economy, adjusted for inflation—grew by 3.8 percent per year. From 1980 to 2010, it grew by 2.7 percent per year. (Since then, it’s been even worse.)
So income inequality hasn’t been “growth-enhancing” at all.